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SSMU Building at McGill
The Jan. 28 SSMU Council will see presentations from two student federations. (L-A Benoit / McGill Tribune)

Student files Judicial Board petition against SSMU executives, Board of Directors, Elections SSMU

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On Sept. 22, U3 Arts student Alexei Simakov filed a Judicial Board (J-Board) petition against the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Executives, Board of Directors, and Elections SSMU, claiming that SSMU had violated its bylaws and constitution by failing to appoint Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ben Fung through a Nominating Committee and a ratification by the Legislative Council.

“The contract of Mr. Ben Fung in the capacity of CEO expired on 30th May 2014, and was automatically rehired by President of SSMU, against article 2.4 of SSMU bylaws,” Simakov’s petition reads.

According to SSMU President Courtney Ayukawa, however, Fung was rehired for the 2014-2015 year by the previous executives after the job position had opened and he had reapplied.

“The decision was made before the current, 2014-2015 SSMU Executives’ terms had even started,” Ayukawa said. “Based upon a plain reading of the bylaws, the 2013-2014 Executive Committee’s decision to renew Ben Fung’s contract did not require a meeting of a Nominating Committee, given that the contract was a renewal, not a new hire.”

Fung affirmed that he was not a part of the processes by which he was rehired, stating that he merely applied for the position after it had reopened.

“Given Mr. Simakov’s petition mainly addresses the process by which Elections SSMU staff were appointed and not any specific actions of Elections SSMU, we won’t be responding to the petition as a respondent, but rather we will be indicated separately as a mis-en-cause,” Fung said. “We were not involved in the renewal of our contract in any way other than sending a re-application to SSMU HR just like any student applying to the job would have.”

According to Simakov, the elections and referenda carried out in the absence of an appropriately appointed CEO should be declared invalid, including the first Fall 2014 referendum—which included the Creation of the University Centre Building Fee—as well as this year’s First-Year Council (FYC) elections.

“[The] appointment of Elections SSMU staff, against the Bylaws and the Constitution, by the Respondents [should] be declared invalid,” the petition includes in its list of remedies sought by Simakov. “The positions of all Elections Staff [should then] be opened to all SSMU members [in favour of] employment equity.”

“All of his actions are illegitimate, as he is not the constitutionally recognized chief electoral officer of SSMU,” Simakov’s “Chief Adviser” McKenzie Kibler, U3 Arts, said.

Ayukawa explained that the bylaws are outdated and are currently undergoing reform as part of a multi-year project in order to more accurately reflect SSMU’s current operations.

“[For example, a] Certified Human Resources Professional (“CHRP”) now works for SSMU as a Human Resources Advisor,” she said. “I have searched through old documents relating to SSMU hiring process and cannot find evidence of the selection process outlined in By-Law Book I—[with a] Nominating Committee selecting the CEO and bringing that recommendation to Legislative Council—being followed for at least the past [five] years.”

Ayukawa further expressed concern about the remedies sought by Simakov.

“The Petitioner’s desired remedies are out of proportion with the alleged procedural irregularities that he describes in his declaration because of the grave effects it will have on many students, such as the new FYC Executives, and the SSMU,” she said. ”At this point, we would like the Judicial Board to declare the CEO’s renewed contract valid and dismiss all of the petitioner’s requested remedies.”

The respondents to this case are required to deliver a response to the J-Board by Oct. 29, while a J-Board hearing is scheduled for Nov. 3.

Simakov elaborated on his reasons for bringing the case forward.

“This is a violation of the constitution that is not about electoral politics,” Simakov said. “This is simply a matter of [SSMU] violating the constitution, which is something that everybody can agree is not acceptable. No one wins or loses except students.”

With additional reporting by Abraham Moussako.

  • troll#2

    who is this guy? alexei simakov? does he want to win an award for troll of the year? well congrats! you win! now please go back to your troll cave and ponder on why you can’t do anything productive with your life.

    • wtf

      if someone challenges ssmu for openly violates its constitution by selecting their all time favorities on positions, you would call them a troll….

      • trollstheygontroll

        SSMU has an equitable hiring process that is overseen by a certified HR professional…you have to interview to get a job like any other company

        ps LOL at “all time favorities” that’s pretty good. ask anyone who worked there and they will probably confirm that they had some “all time least favorites” as well source: former SSMU employee

        • jadedstudent

          That is why this “equitable” hiring process blatantly violated the constitution and the by-laws. Courtney’s line of argument is that, SSMU has been fucking up for the past five years, so thats why its justified for us to fuck up… LIKE WHAT THE FUCK. I would rather prefer an egg to be the President of SSMU rather then her….

  • troll3

    #invalidatealexsimakov2014

  • IgnoreThisComment OrDont

    “The Petitioner’s desired remedies are out of proportion with the alleged procedural irregularities that he describes in his declaration because of the grave effects it will have on many students, such as the new FYC Executives, and the SSMU,”

    LOL okay so when Khan gets ousted from his presidential position because of small by-laws that really didn’t have a huge effect on anything (spending $15 less than reported, due to not buying chalk) these constitute grave enough offences to get him ousted? Now that the tables are turned and small infractions in by-law procedures are being used against the current SSMU, these remedies are “out of proportion”? Hypocritical much.

    Anyways, the consequences of the correction doesn’t have a bearing on whether or not correction for an infraction is necessary. ie: Ms Ayukawa, just because you and others would lose your positions, it doesn’t mean that the remedies do not have standing.

    • correction.

      correction it was $ 1.45……spot on.

      • Correction2

        Khan’s election was invalidated because he cheated, fair and square. He bribed, promised jobs, promised funding and privileges to campus groups, intimidated candidates and had his fair share of illegal campaigning. A decision was made which not only passed the judicial board, but also the Quebec courts.

        This is someone who is burthurt over the fact the referendum passed and he’s not happy. A sore loser.

        • IgnoreThisComment OrDont

          I actually abstained and did not care about that outcome .

          I do care when it’s obvious are elected officials are playing the system. In either case, Khan is irrelevant here. As you suggest, we should examine the facts, plain and simple, and come to a conclusion. In this case, if the presented claims are indeed true, corrective action should be taken. I certainly don’t care much for whether Khan is reelected, but I do care about Ayukawa’s selective following of by-laws.

          I mean, her defence is terrible. Her other argument was that the by-laws need to be reformed. That is also irrelevant to this discussion. If those by-laws were there when she was elected, than they should certainly be looked at.

        • tariq khan

          Hello folks,
          Tariq khan here. I would have loved to address you by your name but you choose to spread misinformation anonymously. So you say that I bribed… where is the proof ? who did I bribe? how did I bribe ? got any facts … no ! Promised funding…. proof ? no ?
          This is the reason that students are upset with ssmu, people make allegations ruin the reputation of an individual and have absoluttely no proof.

          As far as my case is conerned. I was shown no proof. 6 individuals complained out of which 3 were Courtney’s campaign team members. I never saw the evidence, dont know what they said and have no details of the allegations.

          Elections ssmu did not show me the evidence, neither did the judicial board so i went to the court. For your comment that I lost in the superior court… we never went for a full hearing because of financial burdens.

          I challenge you to reveal your name and have an educated debate with me. I will show you all the proofs that how officers lied under oath for one mere position.

          I won the elections fair and square with a lead of 78 votes. but guess SSMU prefers selection of people rather than election.

          p.s why would i be pissed off for the referndum fee passing… I have nothing against the building but have everything against biast and corrupt individuals. This case was filed by another student not me…

  • BEN FUCK

    All Hail BEN FUCK!

  • Tired

    I’m tired of Ayukawa promoting causes that clearly benefit her position on the exec team but rarely have the well being of SSMU/Student Community in mind.

  • top lel

    :^) :^) :^) :^)

  • Trollshit

    Who gives a fuck about this irrelevant garbage

    • IgnoreThisComment OrDont

      LOL certainly not McGill students.

  • IgnoreThisComment OrDont

    Summary of Ayukawa’s arguments:

    1) “Ben Fung’s contract did not require a meeting of a Nominating Committee, given that the contract was a renewal, not a new hire.”
    > I don’t have background on this; perhaps this is something that is allowed, but it is a bit dubious considering that Fung stated he: “applied for the position after it had reopened.”

    3) “Ayukawa explained that the bylaws are outdated and are currently undergoing reform”
    > It’s irrelevant whether or not the bylaws are being reformed now; if they were present during Fung’s hire, that’s all that is relevant.

    3) She “cannot find evidence of the selection process outlined in By-Law Book I” …”being followed for at least the past [five] years.”
    > Just because the rule has been broken before, doesn’t excuse that it may be broken this time

    4) “Petitioner’s desired remedies are out of proportion”…”because of the grave effects it will have on many students, such as the new FYC Executives, and the SSMU”

    > Just because corrective remedies will have large consequences on Ayukawa and other elected officials, or even the students of SSMU, it doesn’t have any bearing on whether Simakov’s claims have bearing or not.

    I didn’t see any direct refutation of Simakov’s claims.

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